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Should picks be based on gut feelings or knowledge?

Last week’s picks weren’t horrible.

A 5-2 record for a week is nothing to sneeze at, and I’ll definitely take a season record of 24-10 so far.

But last week’s picking process was difficult because my gut felt like a couple of teams would do better than expected. And I let that feeling sit for a day or two because sometimes when I feel like my gut is telling me to pick an upset, it’s actually just responding to whatever I decided to pick up in a drive-thru on a whim for lunch earlier that day.

But my gut was correct in that two teams did do better than most would expect.

My problem is I picked the wrong teams. And actually if I’d picked the teams (North Side and Trinity Christian), I still would’ve lost because those two teams pushed higher rated opponents to the brink of defeat before losing in the end.

I’ve had no drive-thru lunches this week, so I’m relying more on my brain this week. We’ll see on Friday how well that does.

North Side 32, Jackson Central-Merry 18: JCM has impressed people at times with its play for stretches earlier in the season, and North Side has had a similar year so far. The Indians have more athletes and speed on the edges. JCM will keep it close for a half and into the third quarter, but the Indians pull away with that perimeter speed late.

Jackson Christian 42, First Assembly Christian School 21: The Eagles’ defense is working well. So is their offense. And for the second straight week, they take on an undefeated opponent. But also for the second straight week, that opponent’s undefeated record isn’t as impressive as JCS’. FACS has shown an ability to score points, so if the Eagles get up by 35 points, FACS might be able to score enough to slow the clock down, but JCS wins again.

Northpoint Christian 28, USJ 14: These teams have identical records, but other than both of them losing to Jackson Christian, that’s where the similarities end. If we were to go simply on comparing their JCS scores, Northpoint lost by seven in a competitive game. USJ was shut down and lost by 41. But USJ is better than the ability level appears of most of the teams on Northpoint’s schedule. While this looks very much like a game where the coaching staff’s abilities could come into play for an upset like they did early in the season, the pick is still a win for Northpoint as they jump ahead early too far for the Bruins to come back from.

Bolivar 24, South Side 14: Bolivar is good at scoring points, but a lot of their points have come against teams with defenses not up to the level of South Side’s. The Tigers will score enough points to win, but South Side will prove it’s better than some of the other teams the Tigers have played.

Trinity Christian 42, Harding Aca. 7: Harding has put some high profile teams on the field in the past. This team doesn’t appear to be on that level looking at its scores. The Lions have responded well since a poor showing in their second game of the season, and they go up early and maintain the lead throughout to remain unbeaten in region play.

Brandon Shields is the managing editor of The Jackson Post. Contact him at Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or Instagram @Editorbrandon.

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